Fantasy Football w/Christopher Harris
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Christopher Harris (11:01 AM)
Hi, everyone. Here's my usual disclaimer: please don't ask questions about who to start in Week 15 -- I haven't done the work yet, so I honestly don't know. And refresh your pages regularly, to see if the question you're asking has already been answered. Let's get right to it....
What are the odds that the Vikings will start resting players? Favre, All Day, Rice? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:03 AM)
Hi, Mike. I think it's going to be a week-to-week thing for now. They're two back with three to play, so provided they win next week, it seems like a pretty safe bet that you'll get all your Vikes for Week 16. And then Week 17 -- all bets are off. I would say if they don't have any seeding to play for, they'll be pretty tempted to sit most of those guys after the first quarter.
Has your downgrade of vincent jackson changed at all? How does he compare to miles Austin?
Christopher Harris (11:04 AM)
Hi, Andrew. Yeah, phew on V-Jax, huh? I still had him No. 11 among wide receivers in last week's (final) Big Rotowski, and Austin No. 15, so I would say I'll continue to view them in that order, though Jackson will probably go higher. The adjustment I saw in that game was that the Chargers made a concerted effort to send Malcom Floyd deep, and let Jackson run more underneath stuff -- worked wonders. He was wide open for much of the day.
Chris, love the advice and thanks in advance for taking the question. Any word on whether the Colts are in full-rest mode or not? I have the semi's next week and need to decide to use Dallas Clark or Fred Davis.
Christopher Harris (11:05 AM)
Hi, Matt. Well, the Armageddon scenario for Colts owners happened yesterday: Colts win, Bengals lose, and the Colts have the #1 seed locked up. I think it's just crazy for them to think about resting their stars for more than a month, but that's what they're debating. No announcement has been made yet. You know Manning will at least play a series every week so he can keep his (cheap-ass) consecutive-starts streak going. (You should have to play most of the game, Peyton.) But yeah, there's a chance the Colts sit their stars next week.
Do you think MJD is hitting a wall? I'll take 13 points when I can get it but his yards per carry are getting pretty bad.
Christopher Harris (11:07 AM)
Hi, Austin. I don't think he's hitting a wall, but the Dolphins are pretty good against the run.... Colts, Patriots, Browns isn't a terrible RB schedule the rest of the way, and you know he's the short-TD maker there, too. I'm not that worried.
With McCoy's no-show appearance and Kevin Smith's ugly-looking knee injury, I'm pretty weak at RB. Do you see Chris Jennings as a solid pickup for the next two weeks with KC and Oak coming up?
Christopher Harris (11:08 AM)
Hi, Brian. To some extent, beggars can't be choosers, and you'd have to believe that Jennings earned a start this week. I wouldn't say Jerome Harrison is absolutely out of the picture. In fact, I'll wager that the plan for last Thursday was for Jennings merely to spell Harrison, and Jennings got on a roll and they just (wisely) stuck with him. Tremendous opponents the next two weeks, though teams are going to key on him. I think given your Smith injury, Jennings is a very good guy to go after.
any chance the rams shut Stephen Jackson down? And is Shiancoe fading?
Christopher Harris (11:10 AM)
Hi, Jules. Well, I'll never say never. I don't think they will. It was disheartening to see how bad Keith Null is -- I mean, who'd have thought there was a quarterback out there worse than Kyle Boller? Jackson just had no chance, and it burned me hard in my main league. But I think he wants to play 16, unless his back gets too bad. As for Shiancoe -- listen, you have to know what you're in for with him. He's got the fewest targets of any top-15 fantasy tight end; his value comes almost entirely from touchdowns. There are going to be weeks when he doesn't score any....
Leonard Weaver (Philadelphia)
Hey man, I'm taking over the lead back role in Philly. What's the deal with me and McCoy down the road? How's that timeshare looking?
Christopher Harris (11:12 AM)
Yeah, if there was one super-shocking backfield thing I saw yesterday, it was that when it mattered most Weaver was the guy the Eagles trusted out there. McCoy was very involved, too -- he looked good in open space on some screens, but he never really broke anything, and Weaver was the one who stole a short touchdown (and Vick scored another). It's ugly for McCoy owners right now. I think it's a value split down the middle, and that says nothing of whether Westbrook will come back....
chris, seen the ne-car tape yet? is moss really quitting on the team (and on my playoff hopes apparently too)?
Christopher Harris (11:13 AM)
Hi, Cory. Yes, I watched that game, and I think the play in particular that the Panthers D-backs (who should probably shut their mouths) were talking about was one where Moss was running a mid-length out and didn't come hard out of his break, and Brady through to the spot where Moss should've been, and it was picked. Listen, Randy Moss has been taking plays off since his rookie year, so that's not a stunner. I don't think Brady has suddenly lost faith in him. But yeah, I mean, it would be nice to see the guy have a huge game here in the next few. I think this "quitting" talk is grossly exaggerated (but what do you expect? we're the media. it's what we do.).
Was MSW's horrid 6 yard performance yesterday more due to his injury or Garrards shaky play? Hoping you watched the game to lend us some insight.
Christopher Harris (11:16 AM)
Hi, Pierre. I did watch that one this morning (thank you, Tivo fast-forward). The league is reportedly "investigating" how a guy termed doubtful can suddenly turn around and play four quarters, though I'm sure nothing will come of it. It wasn't like I could noticeably see MSW hobbling around and gutting it out...but he couldn't get open deep. They threw it to him, and I wouldn't say that Garrard was recognizably crummy on the throws to him. He just wasn't open. And the fact that the Jags play Thursday certainly throws MSW's status up in the air.
Jim (El Paso, TX)
Hi Chris - Do you want either of the Texans RB's for the next two weeks?
Christopher Harris (11:18 AM)
Hi, Jim. Well, Gary Kubiak was annoyed with Ryan Moats for losing a fumble (it was 34-7, but still), and came out this morning and said that he's going to "highlight" Arian Foster the next three weeks. Kubiak has changed his mind about his running backs before, and it wasn't as though Foster had any kind of immense debut yesterday. But if you're to believe what Kubiak says, Foster would be the guy to watch.
Any word on Buckhalter's injury? Does Knowshon get a slight bump up in value over the next couple weeks?
Christopher Harris (11:19 AM)
Hi, Mike. I haven't heard the results of tests or anything like that, but I did read this morning that Buckhalter was on crutches in the locker room, but that it wasn't the same ankle that he hurt earlier in the year. So for the moment, I think we have to wait for the Broncos to say something else, but yes, if Buckhalter is out, Moreno becomes almost a must-start against the Raiders next week.
Justin (St Paul)
Culpepper looked AWFUL yesterday and it clearly effected Calvin J's numbers. How much do you downgrade Megatron if Culpepper starts again.
Christopher Harris (11:21 AM)
Hi, Justin. I agree. Culpepper was just terrible. How the Ravens didn't have like 10 interceptions is beyond me. Megatron never stood a chance, and yes, if Culpepper starts again, I'm downgrading Johnson significantly. When the Lions made the announcement that 'Pep was starting this week, they seemed to strongly indicate it would be a one-week thing, though, so I have hope that Stafford will be back in Week 15. We'll have to see.
ugh, I have Vince Young as a backup to Peyton so I may need him. Is he going to play the last few games or do I go pick up Flacco instead?
Christopher Harris (11:22 AM)
Hi, Evan. I haven't heard anything yet about VY's hammy -- he clearly yanked it on a long scramble yesterday, and it didn't look great. But I really don't know anything else -- we'll have to keep an eye on what Jeff Fisher says today.... If you have to make an immediate decision, I would say adding another QB makes some sense.
Is Garcon on the cameo appearance list, or does he play and have some value with Peyton's fill-in?
Christopher Harris (11:23 AM)
That's a great question, Seamus. I don't know. At some point, you have to believe that the Colts would run out of offensive skill players if they sit *everyone*, but Garcon is a non-rookie and pretty much locked in as their No. 2 guy, so if they were going to choose a second wideout to rest, it would be him. I don't trust Curtis Painter (Peyton's likely replacement) very much anyway, so Garcon wouldn't be that attractive of an option unless you were pretty desperate regardless, it seems to me.
How do you see the Atlanta RB situation playing out? I own all 3 and am curious if they will shut Turner down for the season or not.
Christopher Harris (11:25 AM)
Hi, Patrick. My gut tells me that the Falcons won't make a "for the season" type of announcement, at least not this week. They don't really have any reason to. At this point, they know Turner doesn't need surgery, so it becomes a question of how fast he heals and how much pain he can tolerate. They certainly have no reason to push him, for sure, so if he's not pretty close to perfect, I think they could play it safe with him. If I had to rate the three guys right now, I'd say Snelling is in the lead.
Was Ganther's performance simply a reflection of Oakland's awful-ness or is he a viable flex the next two weeks? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:26 AM)
Hi, Josh. Truthfully, Ganther's performance kind of blew. I mean, the best news for his owners is that he got two one-yard dives, and to his credit he converted both of them (though he got stuffed like three other times). But without the bunny TDs, his day looked an awful lot like most of the Redskins RBs have done this year. I can't say he's worthless, because obviously he's his own goal-line back, and that's good. But I'm not predicting glory.
Jason (St. Louis)
What's the story on Mike Bell being shut down? Is the knee more serious than the Saints let on? I'm a Thomas owner who would be happy if Bell rested for a while.
Christopher Harris (11:27 AM)
Hi, Jason. I don't think Bell has been "shut down," as in, he's not even thinking about practicing or playing. I think his knee is sore, and the Saints are going to play it by ear. It didn't help his cause, certainly, that Reggie Bush picked this moment to have another great game. For as long as Bell is out, I still love Frenchy, though.
Do you like Bradshaw better than Ganther, even though he's second fiddle?
Christopher Harris (11:28 AM)
Hi, Adam. Hm. No, I think I probably prefer Ganther because he's a first fiddle. But Bradshaw is *such* a better player. It comes down to opportunity, and whereas earlier in the season, the Giants were occasionally looking to Bradshaw when they were close to an opponent's end zone, last night it was all Jacobs. Hey, maybe that changes as Bradshaw proves his ankles are OK, but for the moment, it would be tough to take him over a clear starter.
Kelly (Southern Cal)
Any word if Hakeem Nicks holds onto the starting WR role?Or is Malcolm Floyd more trust worthy for the rest of the way?
Christopher Harris (11:30 AM)
Hi, Kelly. I don't see why the Giants wouldn't start Nicks again next week. He had a dramatically up-and-down game last night, obviously, but he made plays, and it wasn't as though Mario Manningham covered himself in glory not once but *twice* failing to run a route that would've allowed him to make a touchdown catch. (By the way: side note...isn't it good to have a guy like Cris Collinsworth in the booth to explain stuff like that? He was really dead-on in showing us how Manningham pretty much screwed his fantasy owners once in each half by failing to sell the inside move on his deep route...)
Chris Harris (Dallas)
I dont understand why people are so quick to give MVP to Peyton. Indi would win a few games without him because of their talented skill players. On the other hand I dont think the Titans would have won a single game without Chris Johnson... Whats your opinion?
Christopher Harris (11:32 AM)
Well, we won't have to worry about Peyton winning the MVP this year, because he's not going to play very much. The award will belong to Drew Brees, IMO, if the Saints go 16-0. Favre has taken a step back, Philip Rivers just doesn't get enough pub, and Chris Johnson has the albatross of being a running back, which means while he gets the highlight reels, people have a bias against him because he's not the "team leader." If Manning sits, the Saints lose and Johnson breaks Dickerson's record, I think he'll be the MVP. Or should be.
Is it Crabtree or Gore tonight for 18 points in a PPR?
Christopher Harris (11:33 AM)
Hi Josh. Ga. That's a toughie, and I'm afraid I can't give you the kind of definitive answer you might be looking for. I think you probably know the variables: Gore is likelier to have the ball in his hands more and is an elite RB pass-catcher, but he's been ice cold in the new Niners spread offense. Crabtree has a far worse downside, but probably has the more explosive upside given how much San Fran is throwing. Me, I'd probably be more pissed if I left Gore on the bench and he went off than if I benched Crabtree and he went off, so I'd probably start Gore, but I think you have to go with your gut.
Dan (Ann Arbor)
Better waiver pickup this week...Chris Jennings or Arian Foster? Both play weak teams, KC and STL respectively in week 15.
Christopher Harris (11:35 AM)
Hi, Dan. Boy, I'm not sure. So many variables. How much do you trust Kubiak not to change his mind as he tries to save his job? How much do you trust Eric Mangini to have a clue and not go back to Harrison to some extent? And how much do you trust these two basically totally untested commodities? I guess based on how they looked (and their opponents) this past week, I'd say Jennings. Foster was OK. Jennings was better. But really, I don't know.
Vick vultured another potential McNabb TD from me last night. Do you trust McNabb less for the rest of the season because of Vick? And what is Vick's keeper value -- better than Vince Young's or Alex Smith's?
Christopher Harris (11:37 AM)
Hi, Roger. Well, to be fair, if Vick's running 'em in, he's *really* vulturing from Shady McCoy owners -- but I take your point. He's a factor, and it isn't good for McNabb. Do I trust Donnie Football less? Well, I don't trust him all *that* much in neutral matchups anyway...it was just that the NYG stink so badly in the secondary, you had to play McNabb last night. But yeah, I'd say he's marginally less interesting with Vick a factor. Boy, weighing in on Vick's keeper value. I wish I knew. No idea where he'll play next year. Will someone sign him to be their starter? Will they be a terrible team? Oakland? Cleveland?
Can you see Roddy White bucking the Revis trend this upcoming weekend or should I not even bother and look elsewhere?
Christopher Harris (11:38 AM)
Hi, Brody. It depends on what else ya got. Yeah, I mean, we're looking at a definite trend here. Antonio Bryant wasn't manned up the entire game on Revis, but Revis was on him a fair amount, especially early, and did nothing yesterday. Tough to sit a guy you can figure will probably get double-digit targets no matter who's covering him, but if you have another decent option, I'd think about it.
You sure are in a frickin fiesty mood, CH. Will Meachem return to his status of being ranked in the 25-35 slot again, so that he might resume his world dominance from within the shadows. Kind of hard to get open when you've got a FF analyst humpin' your leg
Christopher Harris (11:41 AM)
Hi, Dave. I am? I didn't realize. Anyway, I had Meachem ranked No. 24 this week, so don't lump me in with the leg-humpers. I'm likely to keep him right about in that same spot, with Colston a few spots ahead of him and Henderson a few spots behind him. Listen, they're great players. But the target numbers say it all: Colston - 7, Meachem - 5, Henderson - 5 (and Thomas - 7, Bush - 6, Shockey - 6). None of these guys are reliable as No. 1 fantasy receivers, because none will get significant looks. If you think Colston or Meachem is a fantasy stud, well, I worry you're going to get let down in a big way in a big spot. I'm not saying you have to bench 'em. I'm just saying it's not always going to wine and roses when you get 5 targets.
Is it wrong to be a Rice owner and still be upset he didn't get more goal line touches? It didn't matter in this game, but other games....
Christopher Harris (11:42 AM)
Hi, Pete. I wouldn't be worried. It was an utter blowout. I mean, you're right -- McGahee is going to continue to be an all-time vulture here. But Rice is such a stud, he's going to get so many yards and the occasional score (often the longer variety). Just be happy you got him.
Rob Bironas - 19 points (17th in the league) See! kickers can be important!
Christopher Harris (11:43 AM)
Hi, Dave. Important, but random.
Marcus (Germantown, MD)
GASP! Just heard that Jeff Gilooly and Tonya Harding were spotted in the Candlestick parking lot this morning! I need .6 points from Kurt Warner tonight and I'm getting nervous!
Christopher Harris (11:44 AM)
Ha, Marcus. Here's hoping they don't own Kurt, too.
What happened to Driver? ESPN had him projected top 5
Christopher Harris (11:45 AM)
Hi, Dave. I don't have anything to do with the projections -- those are done by somebody else, and honestly, I don't look at 'em. I'm more interested in relative value, and the relative likelihoods that Player X will have a better day than Player Y, which is why I prefer ranks. I had Driver No. 17 this week, which means I probably would've started him if I didn't have better options, but reflected the worry that he's actually gotten fewer targets than Greg Jennings lately. I think those guys cancel each other out to the point where neither is a WR1 right now.
I'm a believer in the "you play your studs" mantra; with that said, Roddy White faces Darrelle Revis next week. I have to bench him, right? I've got Housh vs. TB, or Chambers vs. Cle to fill in. What's your take Chris?
Christopher Harris (11:46 AM)
Hi, Bri. Well, my take is that you're between a rock and a hard place. Chambers could be interesting, but you have to tell me whether Dwayne Bowe will play. And Housh, man, I dunno. He's pretty darned worthless. I don't have high hopes for White, but Randy Moss scored a TD a few weeks ago on Revis, right?
T-money (Northridge Ca)
speaking of the packers... do you see a bounce back game for A-Rod??
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, T. Sure, I think Rodgers is kind of beyond reproach this year. I was surprised to see him struggle yesterday, and particularly surprised to see him under so much pressure, whereas in the past few weeks, his o-line seemed to be getting it together a bit. It wasn't a huge-sack game, but Rodgers wasn't as comfortable as he'd been against what seemed like tougher defenses. I think you have to keep using him, probably.
if you got crap to fill in for Roddy thats tough. But Im rolling with Desean and Welker. Beware of Revis Island.
Christopher Harris (11:48 AM)
Hi, K. Absolutely true. In your case, it isn't even a question.
Chris, would any of these lesser options entice you to sit Roddy facing Revis: Bowe, Britt, Avery or S. Moss?
Christopher Harris (11:49 AM)
Hi, Andrew. Bowe is the guy that sticks out talent-wise, but we really don't have any idea where his head (or tummy) are at right now. I would say you might just have to suck it up and use White, and hope.
Chris, I need your help! FF rules question - two games in to the season we switched from a very poor FF site over to ESPN. We tried to make the rules the same, and anything we couldn't get exact we decided to just change to the ESPN rules. Now comes the end of the season. I'm 4th in my division and 6th overall. ESPN puts me in the playoffs since they take top 6. Our old site took top 3 from each division. On Sunday morning, I wake up to see our Commish had manually changed points around to give me a loss and make it how our old FF site would have made it. Sunday morning right before the games! Do I have a case? Should I take them to Judge Judy? Keep in mind I won 6 out of 7 of my final games to make it, and my team actually scored the most points in the league.
Christopher Harris (11:51 AM)
Hi, Shane. I mean, if the rule wasn't clearly stated beforehand, I think this isn't fair. Does the commish believe that he/she made this clear, and you just "forgot" or whatever? Or does he/she simply think it was "implied"? If it wasn't made clear, my opinion would be that the commish should undo what he/she did... but that's just my opinion, and I'm sure it's a somewhat subjective matter.
Randy M (Boston, MA)
Yo Harris. Please answer my question or I'm going to quit on this chat.... In our playoffs, like many other leagues, the #1 seed plays 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, and 4 vs 5. If the 1 + 2 seeds both win, and 4 beats 5, but 6 upsets 3, who does the 1 seed get matched up with? Do the brackets stay as is, or does the #1 seed get to play the lowest seed that advances. Thanks for your input
Christopher Harris (11:52 AM)
Hi, Randy. The way I run my league, the #1 seed plays the lowest remaining seed, and I think that's the fairest way to go. But there are some leagues that stick to a strict bracket structure.
I'm the #1 seed but facing the top scoring team in our league. What is your strategy when you know you'll be the underdog? Start the consistent guys and hope the other team has a bad week, or look for some exploitable matchups?
Christopher Harris (11:54 AM)
Hi, Jonathan. That's a very good question. It's really the "high-upside" question. Listen, *any* team can have a bad week (my group of D-Willy, Steve Jackson, Reggie Wayne, Greg Olsen and the Colts D just proved that), so a fantasy game is never hopeless. But yeah, I can see looking for the higher-upside guys. I wouldn't bench studs who have scary-looking matchups, but if you've got someone marginal, and see a higher-upside guy, I think I'd be more apt to make such a move playing against a great opponent....
Who should I start out of.....oh wait, my wife knocked me from the playoffs last week. So I got nada....Here is my question....do you think, that in a league that favors QBs (6 pts per passing TD) and undervalues RBs and WRs (TEs too) by less scoring for yardage, as well as IDPs and team defenses...a team with Drew Brees, Andre Johnson, Terrell Owens, Santana Moss, Pierre Thomas, Justin Forsett, Fred Davis etc can win it all? Side note, I have 1 waiver, she has 2....I could drop her Randy Moss, Roddy White, Knowshon Moreno, or even Jamal Charles... :-) I would never do it, she can win or lose on her own. But, its funny to think about....
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Matt. Yeah, don't do that, because then someone else in your league will write me asking to chastise you. Sure, a team like that can win it all. I don't like 6-point-for-passing-TD leagues, though. I much prefer 3 points (with bonuses for longer TD passes). In fact, in my main league, we give a point for 45 yards passing and a point for 15 rushing/receiving yards -- specifically because we don't like how QBs are invariably the top scorers (usually something like 10 of the first 15 spots) in a lot of standard leagues...
Chris, any update on Percy Harvin? Any idea if he'll be safe to use going forward? I'd imagine it's a day-to-day situation...
Christopher Harris (11:56 AM)
Hi, Nick. The Minny papers this morning said that he's no sure bet to play next week. Definitely it's going to be day-to-day, but let's not just immediately assume he'll automatically go. Have alternatives ready.
Future Announcer (WA state)
Hi harris! I know you do not want to throw anyone under the bus, especially your ESPN brethren, but can we all agree that Collinsworth is light years ahead of anyone in the announcing game??! He is the nly announcer/analyst I look forward to hearing every week, and I must learn 15 new things a game. He is smart, know his stuff, and knows how to explain it, not at all condescending to us who may not know the game as well. Just wondering what you think of his work? Thanks!
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
I'm not sure about light years, because there are other good ones. But I agree that Collinsworth is terrific. He's great giving us stuff about wide receivers, and with good reason. Sometimes I think he falls into the trap of falling in love with his predetermined storyline, but to be honest I've noticed that less this year as the season has gone on. On the whole, I think he's tremendous.
Christopher Harris (11:58 AM)
All right, gang, one more and it's off to watch more games for me....
How do you see the Fred Jackson/Marshawn Lynch scenario playing out over the last 3 weeks? Will Jackson continue to be the "featured" back?
Christopher Harris (12:00 PM)
Hi, Phil. There was a twist in yesterday's game (I've heard, but I haven't watched it yet): it apparently looked as though Lynch was the favored option when the Bills got to the red zone. Jackson is still the more valuable guy, because he's a better bet for more touches. But if Lynch is going to steal short yardage, well, we may be right back to where we started with these guys, platoon-wise.
Christopher Harris (12:01 PM)
All right, everyone. This was fun, thanks very much for coming. I know it can be frustrating not to get your questions answered (we topped 1,000 in an hour), so I'm continuing to offer my services as a Facebook friend -- friend me at http://www.facebook.com/writerboy , and feel free to ask away (though please don't ask "Who Should I Start" questions until after Wednesday, because that's when we post our weekly ranks). I'm doing this this season to say "thank you" to all of you for being such loyal readers and allowing me to have this great job. So thanks once again, and have a great week.